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A Cut Price War

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Published on Jul 22, 2012

Black Country poet Alfie performs his poem "A Cut Price War".

About Alfie

From a very early age Alfie was often stringing words together, whether they be poems or jokes, to anyone who would listen. He's always loved the sound of laughter, which he says stems from a happy childhood with a large loving family, raised in hard but happy, times. After leaving school at the age of fifteen, he made his way in the big world to carve out a living for himself and his poetry was put on the "back burner". It did not resurface until many years later, due to the tragic death of the beautiful Princess Diana.

Alfie was now well into his fifties and employed by Sandwell Council at Oldbury Council House. He was so stricken by the loss of the lovely lady that he wrote his own personal tribute in the form of a poem and laid it among the hundreds of other poems, flowers, toys and tributes. It quickly attracted a lot of attention and was broadcast on local radio and Alfie's picture graced the front page of a local newspaper.

The writing bug was back and he once again put pen to paper to churn out poems by the score, though this time he decided he wanted funny ones, poems to bring a smile and not a tear. On completion, he sent them to a well known weekly paper specialising in the Black Country way of life and dialect. It wasn't long before he had quite a little following of readers who liked his work.

In 2003, Alfie was now working at West Bromwich Town hall as a handyman supervisor, with his trusty team of workmates, when the well known and well loved radio presenter Ed Doolan brought his show to the Town Hall and invited Alfie to perform a sample of his odes. Although Alfie had never performed to an audience before, he decided to accept the invitation.

The listeners' response was amazing, with lots of phone calls and very good comments. He was now having his fifteen minutes of fame everyone is entitled to sometime in life. After accepting an invitation to appear on state at the Birmingham Symphony Hall Christmas Charity Show, Alfie was collected from the Town Hall by the Worshipful Mayor of Sandwell, Councillor Martin Prestidge, in his beautiful Daimler car and chauffeured to the show, where he was warmly welcomed by all concerned, including staff and artists. He recited his stuff to a packed audience and they took to him immediately. Alfie had a wonderful day to remember.

Meanwhile, Alfie had already made two CDs before appearing again at the Birmingham Symphony Hall for his second Charity Christmas Show, and later went on to perform at the Winter Garden Hotel, Weston Super Mare, following a surprise 65th birthday party for Ed himself.

Alfie considers it an honour and a privilege to have been on the same guest list as so many well loved TV and radio stars such as Jasper Carrot, Jimmy Cricket, Eddie Large, Stan Stent, Brian Conley, Don McLean, Bonny Langford, Professor Carl Chinn, Less Ross, Bob Brolly, Malcolm Boyden, Jenny Wilkes, The man himself Ed Doolan and many, many others.

Alfie points out that if everyone has at least fifteen minutes of fame, then his watch must have stopped, as he is still enjoying every moment of his.

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